Eric, Netherlands

April 30, 2012

Hello Avi,

What a nice initiative this is. I’m a 40 yr old dutchman, married and father of 4. furthermore I have a strong belief for the right of existence for Israël. I also try to find love for your opponents, like Jesus Christ asks us to, but that’s a pretty hard thing to do, especially when again the media lies and lies again in favor of them.

From the foregoing you understand I believe in God and am (at least try to be) a follower of Jesus Christ. So this brings me to my first question. Belief is an important thing for many Israëlies. What do you think of it?

Secondly, what impact do you think Thora and bible have on the ways your country go and the future it is heading to?

My third question is not a question. Just an encouragment. In a world full of liars and shouting enemies, remember Israel still has a lot of friends, even though governments show themzelves too stupid to see through islamic propaganda time and time again. Am Israel Chai

Hi Eric and thanks for supporting our site. Sorry it took me a few extra days to get back to you… I really liked your questions and I was important for me to be thorough in my answers.

Personally don’t believe in religion as I think it has little place in modern times. It was important thousands of years ago when people needed a way to make sense of natural phenomena such as where the sun goes at night, lightning, diseases, rain, earthquakes, etc..  Though I personally don’t find much sense in it, I certainly don’t think there is nothing wrong with practicing it. The caveat being, as long as it does not come at the expense of someone else. As you correctly stated, religion is a central element in Israeli society and is therefore embedded in many of the state laws. What someone does in his or her own home, synagogue, church, mosque, or whatever place of worship is their business and their right to practice religion freely. I do however oppose the practice of religion in the Israeli Parliament which I feel happens too often. True, this state was founded on Jewish values for the Jewish people.. which I support… but not at the expense of others. I feel that the state should provide a safe haven for all religions, not impose it. The system of coalitions serves to extend parliamentary representation to citizens of many likes. As such, the religious parties operating within the coalition often abuse the governmental mechanism in order to promote religious legislature which sometimes infringes on the rights of others therefore I think religion and government should overlap as little as possible.

While Israel lacks a formal constitution, it does have a set of Basic Laws which characterize Israel as a Jewish & Democratic state. I personally think that this is an oxymoron which may pose some major demographic challenges in the future. The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics recently concluded that the secular demographic in Israel will cease to be a majority within forty years as the Ultra-Orthodox and Arab-Israeli demographics have a much higher rate of reproduction than secular Israelis do. As religion, particularly at the degree practiced by the ultra-orthodox, is devoid of democratic values such as women’s rights and freedom of speech, I find it worrisome that this group may one day be the voting majority in the State of Israel. Particularly as this demographic opts to study the Torah in lieu of employment and military service. How is the State supposed to shoulder such a huge economic burden? We already spend a relatively high percentage of our annual GDP on defense. What will be left for public education? What happens when the Ultra-Orthodox majority begins use the democratic process to pass non-democratic legislature? I recently wrote a short paper on this very topic, I’d be glad to share it with you if you’re interested in reading more.

Again Eric, I thank you for your support both of the State of Israel and the IDF, and supporting our initiative. I hope that the truth, regardless of who it favors, will one day be realized and accepted by the rest of the world. Coincidentally, I attended a lecture this morning on the Dutch constitution and naturalization process which I found quite interesting. I’d love to visit there sometime. Take care and have a great rest of the week.

With Friendship,

Avi

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